What is an Academic Preschool and Daycare?

Preschool is highly beneficial for children, especially when it comes to their development later in life. But not all preschools are the same. Some offer better activities, more engaged teachers, and greater preparation for kindergarten and elementary school. Most programs focus on either academic preschool or are play-based. Each type of learning offers benefits, and you can get both at Kids’ Corner. 

What Is Academic-Based Learning?

Academic-based learning, also called skills-based learning, is similar to learning in traditional elementary schools. Teachers follow a lesson plan with different planned activities. Academic-based learning focuses on preparing your children for kindergarten by teaching them things like numbers, letters, and colors.  

Benefits of Academic-Based Learning

  • Kids enter kindergarten more prepared.
  • Higher test scores through the first year of elementary school.
  • A structured environment with schedules and lesson plans. 
  • Build a solid academic foundation for your child. 

The Play-Based Approach To Learning

Unlike the direct instruction that takes place in an academic preschool, play-based learning focuses on guiding children to a learning goal through play. Play-based preschool programs focus on using play – whether initiated by the child or the teacher – to pose questions, teach important lessons, and guide children to learn new material. It is much less structured than academic-based learning. 

Benefits of Play-Based Learning

  • Improved language development. 
  • Greater opportunity to learn social skills.
  • Opportunities to experiment with and learn different emotions. 
  • Development of creativity and imagination. 

What Is The Difference Between Play And Play-Based Learning?

Some parents, and even teachers, confuse play-based learning with free play. While free play may be part of any preschool curriculum, play-based learning is more structured and geared toward specific learning goals

Free play and play-based learning are not the same. The main difference between the two is that free play is unstructured. It allows children to play in whatever way they like and with whatever toys they like. Meanwhile, play-based learning, while less structured than academic learning, still maintains structure. Play is organized by a teacher, and children are guided to learn through play. 

Arizona’s Premier Play-Based And Academic Preschool

Play-based learning and academic learning both offer great advantages to children. For many parents, choosing between the two can be difficult. Fortunately, Kids’ Corner combines the best of academic and play-based learning to focus on holistic child development. Our curriculum gives children the opportunity to develop cognitive, social, emotional, creative, and physical skills through play and academic learning experiences. 

Kids’ Corner offers more than just a great preschool experience. We’re also a Quality FIrst Quality Plus rated preschool that utilizes a creative curriculum to offer our preschoolers a rich education. We emphasize active learning and child-directed play to help your child learn math, science, and early literacy skills. At Kids’ Corner, your child will develop a love of learning that will benefit them long into their school years and into adulthood.

If you’re interested in Kids’ Corner preschool or daycare options, we’d love to invite you to one of our campuses for a tour. Call us at 480-267-9419 for our Mesa campus or 480-267-9427 for our Gilbert campus to schedule your tour today.

Kid’s Corner Locations


2051 W Guadalupe Rd #15
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 267-9419
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1450 N Gilbert Rd
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 267-9427
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Our developmentally appropriate curriculum and programs are based on the nationally acclaimed creative curriculum designed to address the whole child – social, emotional, physical, and intellectual.